A wildfire earlier this month threatened a California town that is apparently a West Coast wedding mecca, according to the Associated Press. The headline? “Brides-to-be fret over wildfire in Santa Barbara.”
Fret? I think those women were doing a little more than fretting. The possibility of the reception hall burning to the ground warrants a much stronger verb, in my opinion. How about “freak?”
Let’s hope those poor Santa Barbara brides had a Plan B. All brides should have a Plan B.
No one wants to think about it, but stuff happens. Brides want to believe with all their heart that it won’t rain on their wedding day. “It won’t happen on my day,” we vow, pray, and plead to whoever might be listening.
But sometimes, it does rain. Sometimes it rains so hard and for so long that the roof of the reception hall collapses the night before the wedding. This happened to my friend Beth. Fortunately, her venue had an agreement with another venue in case of such an unlikely occurrence. A little Valium for the bride didn’t hurt either. The reception was lovely and no one who didn’t know better would have guessed the whole shebang was supposed to be someplace else.
Every vendor you work with must also have some kind of backup plan, especially if it’s a one-person operation, such as a photographer or DJ. What if he or she—God forbid—gets hit by a bus? Independent vendors usually have a network of colleagues they can call on in an emergency, as my DJ repeatedly assured me. But ask to be certain.
“No one has ever asked me that question before,” my minister said in bemusement.
“Well, we can do without everything except you,” I replied. I know the minister thought I was a Type A worrywart—until she remembered that she herself filled in at the last minute for a colleague who had an emergency appendectomy the week of a wedding.
Having back up for venues and vendors is what I call a constructive Plan B. There’s also an emotional Plan B, which is just as important.
Brides should mentally prepare themselves to accept that some things are out of everyone’s control. Don’t get me wrong—fire, flood, and emergency surgery are freak-worthy occurrences. But if there’s a constructive Plan B in place, you can deal with whatever is thrown your way.
Most likely, any details that go awry will be minor disappointments in the grand scheme of things. The flower girl may go on strike or maybe the reception area doesn’t look quite as you envisioned. And yeah, it might rain. So you have something to tease your flower girl about for years to come and you were the only one who knew the table settings weren’t exactly how you wanted them. As for the rain…OK, who am I kidding? I don’t want it to rain on my day either.
But what will you remember most about the day? The glitches? The weather? These things will hopefully be nothing compared to the memory of how the groom looked when he saw you walking down the aisle.
If your emotional Plan B is set, you can do more than deal, you can dance.